— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 15, 2017
Insofar as the usual number and frequency is zero — yes, this is far out of the norm. https://t.co/FZQQJ6wckb
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) February 15, 2017
From the NY Times reporting we now have Geographic Combatant Commanders concerned about the stability of their own government:
Gen. Tony Thomas, head of the military’s Special Operations Command, expressed concern about upheaval inside the White House. “Our government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil. I hope they sort it out soon because we’re a nation at war,” he said at a military conference on Tuesday.
Asked about his comments later, General Thomas said in a brief interview, “As a commander, I’m concerned our government be as stable as possible.”
Once again we must ask: what did the President know and when did he know it? And we must expand that to the Vice President, the Chief of Staff, and a variety of others within the President’s inner circle.
As I wrote back in January before the then President-elect’s press conference:
As a national security professional, what I would like to see is the President-elect address the now long standing and ongoing allegations regarding his connection to Russia. If the allegations are spurious, as he and his team have claimed every time they’ve come up, or if there is a straightforward and simple explanation that can be made, he needs to make it. I think a lot of the foreign, defense, and national security policy concerns that many across the political spectrum have with the President-elect’s longstanding policy preferences dating back to 1987 arise from all of the smoke around the claims of Russian connections and interference for Russia’s, not the US’s, not the President-elect’s, interests.
I can now state that just based on open source reporting and social media behavior I can place almost everyone in the President’s inner circle, professional and familial, as well as the President within three links, and in most cases two links, of Vladimir Putin or those within Putin’s orbit including Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs close to Putin. Rather than trying to make this go away, the President and those serving him seem to be unable to stop what they’re doing. And this is just through the first three weeks.
We are through the map and off the looking glass.
* Full disclosure: From May through August 2015 I was a Senior Fellow in the Center for Special Operations Study and Research at SOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University. Prior to that I have provided support to SOCOM’s Civil Affairs Branch Capabilities Based Assessment in 2010 and to SOCOM’s Joint Civil Information Management Test Development (J-CIM TD) in 2010 and 2011 and helped write and edit the J-CIM Manuals and Handbook, and briefed members of the SOCOM J2 and J3 on terrorism and recidivism in April 2009.